Monthly Archives: September 2013

so Fiber One has done an ad to the tune of “Total Eclipse of the Heart” – Turn Around, Barry.


I saw this the other day at the gym (SAW it but didn’t HEAR it – they had closed captioning on. Wasn’t hard to see the filk, even if I couldn’t hear it. Turn around, Barry : ) I still haven’t actually seen the whole thing; if you click that link, you’ll see it before I do (I’m in a classroom full of people while I’m typing this; seems that most of them aren’t Bonnie Tyler fans : )

I had no idea that there was a Total Eclipse revival going on until I went online to find the above video – seems that there was a Mastercard commercial a while back where The Voice Herself redid the song with brand-specific lyrics, and there’s some diva impersonator who has done the song in the style of Cher and Streisand and others (gotta go give that a look see when I can).

But it hit me this morning when I was doing my workout and my iPod served up the original; this is a song that goes back to my drinking days, when my self-important self-centeredness somehow made this song about me (helped along by the fact that my first wife, Bonnie, had married my next door neighbor, surname Tyler – get it?)

I have always loved Jim Steinman’s songs – yes, he’s the same guy who wrote all of those Meat Loaf songs, plus some other of the Voice’s contributions (Faster Than The Speed of Night comes to mind). But his lyrics always refer to boys and girls, rather than men and women; things tend to be a little adolescent in Jim Steinman songs : )

But I never really GOT Total Eclipse of the Heart until this morning. It was always obvious that the song was about something important, but none of the meanings that I laid on it ever really fit.

I was doing my core work after my run, and it just so happens that TEotH is at the perfect cadence for crunches. So I’m doing my crunches and suddenly I’m just hit with a wave of emotion.

The song isn’t about a lost love. The song is about a love that remains when everything else has fallen away; the relationship remains when all of the other things in the singer’s life are going down the tubes.

Say, when maybe she loses her job, and has to sell her house, and both condos in Colorado, and leave her family and friends and go to Utah. I mean, for instance.

If somebody were to like, maybe, go through something like that : )

Ethel and I have noted quite a few times through the last couple of months that all we really have to hold onto, in this world, is each other. Everything else seems to be falling apart, but when we look across the table, the most important thing in this world is still sitting there.

(Turn around)
Every now and then
I get a little bit restless
And I dream of something wild
(Turn around)
Every now and then
I get a little bit helpless
And I’m lying like a child in your arms
(Turn around)
Every now and then
I get a little bit angry
And I know I’ve got to get out and cry
(Turn around)
Every now and then
I get a little bit terrified
But then I see the look in your eyes

Turn around, bright eyes : )

…Oootahns talk collidge fuhbawl. And wear collidge fuhball t-shirts.

This weekend is the Utah/BYU game, so “everybody wear their t-shirts” day at the office. They call it “Rivalry Day”. A case could be made that, if it’s only one day, then it’s not a rivalry – it’s an excuse to wear a t-shirt.

So my boss lady, who spent some time in the Loveliest Village on the Plains in her youth, decided (as part of “rivalry day’) to show up this morning wearing this travesty:


I have to admit – I was flattered. She actually bought the shirt for this occasion, because I am here – I don’t know that she actually supports the Auburn Tigers/Plainsmen/Wargles .

And she tells me that she’ll be wearing the shirt again on November 29th (if you don’t understand why, then…never mind. Go back to reading Wired or whatever you were doing : )

I wear a Bama polo or t-shirt three or four days out of five. Today I also have on Bama socks and Bama boxers – and I always wear my pink Roll Tide wrist band (it’s pink because I always wear it – like, for years now. It wasn’t pink when I put it on : )

So I don’t get the local college football “fandom”. To think of showing up one day a year in a Bama shirt – in an office full of Aubies – is unthinkable. I wear Bama gear when I’m running (I’ve got a couple of pairs of crimson running shorts w/white and black houndstooth sidesplits, for instance) or skiing or golfing. My golf bag is houndstooth, for Pete’s sake. 

However, I will say this – this local deal has a bit more tooth to their rivalry than we do. Sure, Auburn is the cow college, the Barn, they are our “little brothers” with a chip on their shoulder, blah, blah, blah – but the truth is that Alabama and Auburn have much, much more in common than Utah and BYU.

And it shows. Where we have the “Iron Bowl”, they have the “Holy War”.

Utah is the secular school – it is the local “the” university (as in “The University of Utah”) and a great institution of higher learning – but it is as secular as all-git-out, and as such, it’s….diverse. One of the things that living all over this great country of ours has taught me is this – if you want to find the weirdness in a state, go to the town with the “The” university in it.

The only real Texans in Austin are the ones who were elected around the state and sent there; the locals wear Birkenstocks and patchouli. Colorado has more gun racks than peace signs on the trucks, but go to Boulder and you’ll see nothing but Subarus with Bumper Stickers from Hell. Tucson is still Arizona, but get down near the U of A, and things get diverse in a hurry.

(This might not be quite as apparent in Tuscaloosa as in other cities, possibly because football madness might crowd out a bit of the weirdness. But Tuscaloosa is the town that my big brother went off to in the late 60s, and came home a commie. With a Republican National Convention delegate for a grandfather, who voted to nominate Goldwater. The weirdness flows there as well – it’s just a bit more camouflaged).

And the same is true in Utah, but Utah might be a bit more polarized than many states – it is without a doubt the reddest state in the union in terms of election results (let us pause here to curse the journalism majors who decided to taint conservatism by calling them “red” states!) but also has had a large influx of Californians immigrating for some time now. So it’s a bit polarized.

And serving as lightening rods for the polarization (if I might mix my metaphors) are the two major universities. Forget “parochial” and “secular” – it’s more “sacred vs profane”, and seemingly by intention. BYU has a code of conduct that I couldn’t live up to (although I would like to) while Utah…doesn’t.

Piercings and tattoos and weird hair versus Jesus Jammies and clean-cut pimple-free faces.

Utah even has a big red bus on campus that says “BYU S*CKS” – and I’m the one who stuck the asterisk in there; they don’t mind the profanity one bit. They seem quite happy to flaunt such stuff.

I don’t really need to say which way my sympathies lean here – anybody who knows me knows my tastes. And they are just tastes.

But I figured I’d give this bit of background; there might be more honest distaste in their “Holy War” than we have in our – much more hotly contested, and much more drawn-out – little rivalry down South.

…ain’t nearly long enough : )

Here are Ethel and I at the Tolum ruins in the Yucatan Peninsula a couple of weeks back…

smoochesTwenty six years ago last night, Kim (not yet KimPuckett) was sitting at our kitchen table on Runnymeade Avenue in Decatur, AL. All around her was a flurry of activity; friends and relatives preparing things for our wedding the next day.

Kim wasn’t involved in all of that. She was sitting there in a kimono, barefoot, the warm calm center of the storm, and I couldn’t take my eyes off of her.

It’s twenty-six years later, and we are homeless. There is a flurry of activity all day and all night, and there is no end in sight. But in the stillness of the mornings, sitting in our friend Dr. Janet’s living room, I sit on the couch with my morning book and my Franklin Planner, and she sits in the big cigar chair, in a kimono, barefoot.

And I can’t take my eyes off of her : )

Thank you, dear wife, for marrying me.





I have no idea where this picture originated, but it simply blows my mind:

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Food City 500

Danica Patrick in front of a Go Daddy background talking to Tennessee coach Butch Jones? HOW did this unlikely event occur? What brought this about? Why wasn’t I informed?

This year, yet again, the Third Saturday in October will fall on the Fourth Saturday in October, when Alabama will play Tennessee at Bryant-Denny. I wouldn’t be surprised if we are still undefeated at this time – the only real danger that I see on the schedule before this game is Ole Miss a week from next Saturday.

The Danger Zone is, once again, the second Saturday of November, two week after the Tennessee game, when we play LSU, but this time we play ’em in Tuscaloosa – and we have the week in between off. Give Nick Saban a week to prepare, and he is downright scary.

It’s a good thing that collidge fuhbawl is underway, because other entertainments are a mess. I just looked at the Redbox “Action” movies tab, and I’ve seen several of them already – and there’s nothing to recommend any of them. The only one on the tab that I haven’t seen that even has a good review is World War Z, and it’s a zombie movie. I don’t want to try to talk Ethel into a zombie movie : )

In a few days, I’ll be heading to California. I’ll be taking my laptop and an HDMI cable, so that I can watch Netflix on the hotel’s flat screen TV. But my training day runs from 9:30 to 6:00, and I have 6:30 meetings in Pleasanton, so there’s not going to be much time for watching Netflix, anyway.

I’m tired. Does it show?….the last six weeks of living out of suitcases (even when we were “on vacation” in Mexico, we were still living out of suitcases) has taken its toll. Starting a new job, selling the old house, going to Colorado to empty those condos and getting them on the market, all while living out of suitcases.

I’m tired.


Here’s the big sign on the wall at my local Planet Fitness:


Well, what can you expect from a gym where all of the workout equipment is painted pink? : )

Of course, this sign has the same inherent problems as the “I Won’t Stand For Intolerance” t-shirts that I posted about some time back; the very defining of someone as a “lunk” involves a certain amount of judgement – and judgement against, specifically. But the sort of folks who are capable of putting up a sign like this are not the sort of folks who are going to think logically, anyway – and if you point out their illogic to them, them they will be proud of it, because only, like, judgemental people would want to be so left-brain, dude. Like, wow.

But it’s a gym, and it has treadmills and lifts and a shower, and it’s on the other side of the parking lot here at work, and it’s free to me as an employee in this office building, so I’ll take it. And if I grunt, and somebody sets off the Lunk Alarm, then I probably will just grin at ’em. Folks this self-important cannot stand being grinned it – it makes their heads explode.

It’s another unutterably gorgeous day in Salt Lick Silly; the forecast looks good until I’m in Pleasanton, CA on Sunday, at which time and place the forecast looks good until the Apocalypse. I’m not looking forward to being away from Ethel, and I currently don’t know how long it will be until we are reunited; she is scheduled to close for us on the townhome on 26 September (i.e. next Thursday) and then move in. I understand that she is taking the next week off for that purpose; since she’s doing it herself, that makes plenty of sense. I would hate for her to stress about this, although I suppose some amount of stress will simply have to happen.

We’ve been “living around” for over a month now; we left Arizona on the 5th of August, then stayed w/Dr Janet until we left for Mexico, then came back and I went to California. Now I leave for CA on Sunday, and I’ll be driving to the airport w/Ethel, who is leaving for Myrtle Beach on business the same day. She gets back the day before she’s supposed to close on the house. No wonder there is a bit of stress in the family.

Enough stress such that I notice things like the above sign. When I’m stressed, I focus on things that OTHER people are doing wrong, to avoid looking at my own life : )

Here’s the view from my new cubical here at Workday Salt Lake:


Now, there’s a disclaimer here – that is not the WHOLE view. I’ve got about 200 degrees of view, from the north end of the Oquirrh Mountains in the west across the south and east to the foothills between Salt Lake and Bountiful in the northeast. I’m just showing you the part of the windows that, as of this afternoon, had the blinds up : )

What a New Guy is doing with a cube along a windowed wall is a question that has me bumfluzzled, but I’m not going to ask it out loud, as somebody else might wind up asking the same question. I’m just tickled to be able to look all the way down the Wasatch Front as far as Point of the Mountain without even turning my head.

I will be heading home before too long; we have to get up tomorrow to get an early start to the day, in order to end the day early, in order to drive to Durango. Today’s developments in the Saga of the Purchase of the Summit Park Townhome are positive, such that it looks like it’s going to happen, and possibly on the date appointed; there’s still a lot to do, though, and I won’t be here to do most of it, as I’ll be staying at the Residence Inn, Pleasanton.

Which does not have a view like this : )

…in case you haven’t heard. The Dark Lord Saban is taking on Johnny Fuhbawl.

sabanmanzielThings are just a mite…over-hyped right now.

Wednesday morning, and I’m in the break room here at the office, and what do I see on the TV? Texa A&M and Alabama. A LOT of aTm and Bama. A whole lot.

This weekend, we are driving to Colorado to empty out the 3 bedroom condo. We’re doing this so that that condo can go into the vacation rental pool, and so that we can put it on the market as well. This is a sad time – yes, I’m happy and grateful to be at Workday in Salt Lake City, happy and grateful to be (apparently, assuming that the loan goes through) buying a town home in Summit Park back in Park City, happy and grateful all around.

But it’s still sad to be leaving Purgatory. In fact, I hadn’t realized just how sad I am until I typed that. In fact, if you don’t mind, I’m gonna stop typing for a bit.

Okay….now, we are driving to Durango/Silverton to take care of business this weekend, but the entire trip has to be wrapped around this football game. Other things are optional about the trip, but we simply have to be sure that we can watch the game.

We’re taking a 42″ LCD down there to swap out for the 55″ 3D LED that we are bringing back, but we won’t even attempt that swap – bringing the 55″ off of the wall mount and disconnecting it, and setting up the 42″ in its place – until after the game. Because – what would happen if we broke the TVs or somehow didn’t get things set up right?

We’d be at 9000 feet in the San Juan Mountains, with NO TV TO WATCH THE GAME ON!

I’ve got another 15 miles to run this week, but I’ll run the bulk of it on Friday morning, so that I will be fresh for the game. That’s important, you know. I have no doubt that watching this game is going to take all that I’ve got in the tank.

Maybe, if things go easily – if it’s a “good game” (a flexible phrase; for most athletic contests, this means “a close game with close scores and plenty of drama”, but when Alabama is playing, a “good game” means “a complete snooze fest; ‘ho-hum, the defense is squeezing the life out of the other time, and AJ is handing off to our fourth-string running back or doing easy tosses to tight ends on crossing routes and moving the chains, moving the chains, moving the chains…'”)…if it’s a good game, then I might be up for watching Mississippi State at Auburn (a storied history there – not too many years ago, they had a final score of 3 to 2. THATis good SEC football, y’all) or Ole Miss at Texas (after the BYU blowout on the Texas defense last week, it’s gonna be interesting to see what Hugh Freese can do). And it would be nice to see Purdue whup up on Notre Dame, but I’m not counting on that.

Currently my life and thinking is centered on 1:30 PM Saturday, on CBS.

There’s a fuhbawl game this weekend…..

Just saw this in a PowerPoint I’m going through:


I hope that this is true. If so, then maybe my life IS a success : )

I’ve definitely been seeing/feeling/experiencing a lot of the right-side timeline seen above lately. In so many areas of my life, it seems that I keep going around and around, and can’t tell when I come out of one of these spirals if I’m headed up the success ramp, or down into the failure abyss.

This morning, I was listening to Miss Houston (Thelma, not Whitney) singing:

They tell me life is a circle, but that ain’t the way that I found it
Gonna move in a straight line…

I have never managed to “move in a straight line”. In fact, my efforts to do so always seem to result in my lines being even more convoluted than those paths I seem to follow when simply floating.

Ethel’s mantra during these changes that we’ve been going through for the last months has been “No oars, no rudder, no anchor” – we don’t need to push, we don’t need to steer, and we don’t need to stop. Let Him take us where He will; let the river flow and simply float with the current.

I’m not sure if that is completely possible; it seems that we are called on now and again to make decisions. But I do believe that the will to not exercise our own wills – the decision to not make our own decisions – gives us an easier, better life than the alternative, regardless of how poorly we implement that way of life.


Whenever we Pucketts start the litany of Bubba’s Srimp, that’s how we start it out.

Well, we’re wrong, again. Saw this sign at Bubba Gump Shrimp in Cancun when we left Isla the other day:

srimpOh, well. I’m married. I’m used to being wrong all the time : )

Well, here I am, at the Oakland airport. I’ve just finished two days of orientation and setup at Workday, in Pleasanton, which is where I work now. I am very, very happy and grateful to be there; the more I learn, the more I like it.

I want to make the best of this opportunity. However, I might want to be careful; I woke up at 1:30 AM thinking about how I can get ahead of the curve in this job; I don’t want to burn out, so maybe I’d best take it slow.

Or should I? It may be that I am so constituted that I’m not able to “take things slow” for very long; if I take it easy too long, I might just stay easy; maybe my subconscious sees “taking it easy” as another way of saying “I don’t care”. Because, when I care, I care a LOT.

Okay. I think I’ll just run with it : )

But I won’t run with it much further today; I iz done slap dab give out. Getting up at 1:30 means starting the day very, very early, and there is a price that has to be paid. I think I’m paying it now : )

Strangly, I find that I am sweating, and I don’t know why. This is Oakland; cooled by the Bay breezes. Why would I be sweating?…but it can’t be denied; I am uncomfortably warm and moist.

I’m going home to Salt Lake City.

Well, actually, I should qualify that with some quotation marks; I should say “home” because we still don’t have one; we’re living out ofsuitcases at Dr Janet’s house, except when we leave there and live out of suitcases elsewhere. We’re still three weeks out from closing on the townhome (and I’m not sure that it’s going to happen; there are paperwork problems). But even then I won’t be living there – by the time we have a home, I’ll be back out here for five weeks of Boot Camp.

The end of October. I am hoping that, by the end of October, Ethel and I will have a place that we can call our own again, with our own sheets and pillows : )

But I might be wrong again….